Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

BMJ: 318 (7177)

BMJ 2015; 318 doi: (Published 19 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;318:137

Rapid Response:

The Demise of the American Medical Association

As a past Trustee and Chair of the AMA('92-'93), the recent action of
the new EVP, a former Surgeon General of the US Air Force comes out of the
wild blue yonder. Dr. Anderson who acknowledges he was not even a member
of the AMA until 5 years ago has literally flown the AMA into the
mountain. The aggresive defense of his actions by Drs. Dickey and Smoak,
President and current Chair, reveal that this was orchestrated with the
support of the AMA leadership. After the recent Sunbeam scandal, the
attempt to curry favor with the Republicans on parial birth abortion for
increased mediare reimbursement, reflect the impoverishment of the
current leadership. They have even disregarded their own report of June
'93 which affirmed the independence of JAMA. (I was Chair at that time).
Sadly, the AMA's tailspin continues. This action is truly a mortal blow
and takes the AMA back to its reactionary past which I and so many of my
colleagues tried to end. JAMA has been the "Jewel in the Crown" of the
AMA, thanks to the 17 year reign of Dr. Lundberg. Sadly, this action
reveals the AMA would rather be dead than read!
Raymond Scalettar, Chair AMA "92-"93.

Competing interests: No competing interests

26 January 1999
Raymond Scalettar
Clinical Professor of Medicine George Washinton Medical Center
Office practice; 730 24th St, NW Wash DC 20037